Phromthep Cape (Laem Phromthep)
This post is from 2006 - there are updated posts about Phromthep Cape on the blog:
• Sunset at Cape Phromthep
• Hiking to the end of Phuket at Cape Phromthep
At the extreme southwestern corner of Phuket is Phromthep Cape, just to the south of Naiharn beach and just to the west of Rawai beach. This corner of the island has long been a favourite area of ours - it is slowly getting developed and there are quite a lot of foreign residents around, but its still quiet, you can still eat at little foodstalls at Rawai, and you're close to little beaches like Ao Sane and Ya Nui. Combined with a visit to Chalong Temple, this area makes a good day out, with great views, quiet beaches and good local food. If you're staying in Patong, Karon or Kata, rent a bike or car and get a map and see what you can find! Note that there are quite a number of little roads around this part of the island, easy to get lost!
Promthep Cape gets a fair number of visitors, and there's a sizeable car park, a restaurant and tacky souvenir stalls, but if you climb up the steps you'll find a great view, along with an elephant shrine. The elephant is important in Buddhism, representing strength and wisdom. Beyond the shrine is an odd looking lighthouse, built in 1996 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Every time we have been there, even if there seem to be several busloads of tourists, the lighthouse is quiet. You can climb up inside for a view of the ocean and offshore islands - and (bonus) it's airconditioned inside, so on a hot day makes an excellent place to cool off!
• Thai Navy Website - The Golden Jubilee Lighthouse Project
Some photos at Cape Phromthep (photos by Bill & Paula Monk):